The city of Togoville, where Vapor’s third center was established, is home to approximately 10,000 residents. Central to the life of many of Togoville’s residents is the traditional practice of Voodoo and animism. Scattered throughout the city are statues (fetishes) and altars where sacrifices and homage are exchanged for the hope of security and provision by the idols. Nearby, Voodoo priests are trained and commissioned in the “Black Forest,” an area considered sacred by Voodoo practitioners.
On a survey trip to Togoville, Vapor's president, Micah McElveen, embraced the desperate spiritual and physical needs he encountered and began the work of launching a Vapor center. After returning from a survey trip to Togo, Micah said: “We were shocked to see precious Togolese children with bulging bellies, navels sticking out like a cucumber on some, and hair turned yellow, all from severe malnutrition. But, the people love soccer and we felt the average person in the Togoville was fairly desperate for hope and direction. When we told the city elders what we do, they begged us to come in and build a center, so we said yes.”
After leading the Vapor center in Kawangware for some time, Christian Nkulikiye and his wife, Celine, moved across the continent of Africa to Togoville, Togo, to establish Vapor's third center. After the center was fully established and opened to the community last February, leadership of Vapor’s Togoville center was assumed by longtime local pastor and teacher John Amessinou. John now leads an indigenous staff of 23 employees and nine volunteers.
Togo’s passion for soccer is intense, allowing Vapor to utilize that local sport of choice to introduce people to the gospel and to make disciples. Vapor’s center in Togoville enrolled 1,306 young people into its life-on-life discipleship leagues during the first two weeks of operation. At the center, the children who participate in the leagues receive disease-prevention training, basic medical assistance and other forms of humanitarian aid. The poorest children at Vapor’s Togoville center receive their education and support through Hasmin’s Friends, Vapor’s child sponsorship program.
The well Vapor drilled at the center in Togoville - the Joshua Well - is named after and dedicated to Bill and Sue Boycott's son Josh who passed away 9 years ago. The Joshua Well sits at the entrance to the Vapor center and provides clean water at no charge to the community who otherwise had little to no access to clean water.
Among the center’s microbusiness projects are a poultry farm with one thousand chickens (soon to double in quantity) and a four-acre commercial gardening operation that produces quality crops to sell at market and demonstrates sustainable farming practices. The crops also help fight malnutrition and alleviate hunger within the community.
The Togoville center's primary faith community partner is Togoville Baptist, led by a passionate Christ-follower and Togolese native, Pastor Charles. Vapor works alongside this body of believers to raise up disciples and to care for the poor within Togoville.
We are thankful for the amazing ways the Lord is using the center in Togoville to raise up disciples of Christ and care for the poor, and we look forward to what He will continue to do through the men and women who lead the center.